MySweetWishList: 2018 Dream Gala

According to Greater Dallas JDRF Executive Director Amy Camp,

Amy Camp*

“The Greater Dallas Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation recently announced its annual Dream Gala, which raises funds for research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, will be held Saturday, April 28, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The JDRF Dream Gala is a night of celebration and inspiration for all those living with and affected by type 1 diabetes. The theme of the 2018 Dream Gala is ‘Oh, What a Night!’ and it will honor 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto. The evening will feature silent and live auctions, seated dinner, inspiring program, Fund A Cure appeal, and live entertainment by the Midtown Men. Event chairs include: Joe DePinto, Dave Strauss, Harold Gernsbacher and Scott Paul.

“Founded in 1970, JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence, and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF has invested nearly $2B in research over the past 45 years, and is sponsoring scientific research in 17 countries worldwide. The Dream Gala itself helps raise a large portion of funds to support the ongoing research.

“We hope you will make plans to join us for the 2018 Dream Gala. For more information, as well as underwriting opportunities, please visit: contact the Melissa Pinkerton at [email protected] or 214.764.6770.”

-By Amy Camp, Greater Dallas JDRF Executive Director

* Photo provided by Greater Dallas JDRF

Go Ahead, Stay Toasty And Donate Without Guilt Saturday Morning

Mother Nature had been threatening for days to be part of the triple-doozy walks/runs benefiting breast cancer and diabetes throughout the area Saturday morning. Honestly, there are just times when you don’t want the old gal to be there. But sure enough, she announced that she was indeed showing up with her cold-shoulder temps. Yipes! Just as a preamble, she sent sleet to the northern parts of the territory on Friday afternoon. What a party pooper!

So, Saturday morning when you’re snuggled under that down-filled duvet and thinking about whether or not to have a triple-dollop of whipped cream on your hot chocolate, consider thousands of folks who are facing a very brisk morning to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure Dallas County, National Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas and Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2017 Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo.

If you just don’t have the strength to put on those adorable pink Valentino “Rock Stud sneakers” and scamper about the area, consider making a donation. It would warm the hearts of those facing the season’s first frosty chill.

Hint: If you were thinking about shopping at NorthPark, stall that dream off until afternoon when all the walker and runners are home soaking their tootsies.

Three-Way Collision Of Walking/Running Fundraisers Slated For October 28 With Two Benefiting Breast Cancer Research

There’s gonna be a heck of lot of walking in North Texas on Saturday, October 28. That morning there will three separate walks/run raising funds for nonprofits.

At 8 a.m. Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2017 Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo will be taking place at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center to raise money to “support programs and initiatives for those who suffer from diabetes and other chronic diseases.”

The other two events seem to be a bit of fundraising head-on collision. They’re both taking place to raise funds to battle breast cancer. At NorthPark the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure Dallas County will start at 8 a.m., while across town the National Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas will walk take place at Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge with a start time of 8:15 a.m.

Let’s hope the weather holds out all these walking, running and fundraising.

Dallas Cowboys’ Legend Gene Stallings Inspired Fund A Cure Luncheon Guests To “Dance In The Rain”

The Fund A Cure luncheon on Thursday, November 5, was a tough one to cover. Sure, it was at Brook Hollow, and there was no raffle, no auction, no heads-or-tails games. It was one of those occasions that went straight to the hearts of those present and had many of the vet fundraisers talking the rest of the day.

So what made this one different? For one thing, the keynote speaker was 80-year-old coaching legend Gene Stallings, who had driven down that morning from his Paris ranch. His wife Ruth Ann had wanted to be there, but she had broken her shoulder and had a neighbor who needed help.

Cliff Harris, Gene Stallings and Charlie Waters

Cliff Harris, Gene Stallings and Charlie Waters

Lee Roy Jordan

Lee Roy Jordan

But the longtime Dallas Cowboys secondary coach wasn’t in a room of strangers. Gene’s former Cowboys players Roger Staubach, Charlie Waters, Cliff Harris and Lee Roy Jordan were on hand. They were all old hands at posing for photos and meeting new best buds. On the sidelines were former Cowboys wives like Marianne Staubach and Biddie Jordan.

When Luncheon Co-Chairs Tricia and Kenn George got the guests to finally settle down, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Youth Ambassador/Greenhill 7th grader Leah Nutkis, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 9, addressed the group. Having gone through more than 1,000 finger pricks, the 12-year-old athlete/artist/musician’s message was to the point: “Type 1 Diabetes is what I have, not what I am.”

Marianne and Roger Staubach

Marianne and Roger Staubach

Then Kenn introduced Honorary Chair Roger. Why shoot! The way Kenn talked, one would have thought Staubach was the keynoter.

Roger then took the podium to introduce Gene. While blushing from Kenn’s intro, Roger’s introduction of Gene reflected the importance of the man that Cowboys champs, football worshippers and great people respect. At one point, in recalling Stallings’ son, John Mark, Roger hesitated. That hesitation lingered. The Heisman Trophy winner/Super Bowl champ was caught in the moment. He shared his memory of the youth, who was born in 1962 with Downs syndrome and had made such a memorable impression on the the legendary team. As Roger spoke, the Cowboys vets at a nearby table appeared to also be reflecting on their own memories of “Johnny.”

Touched by Roger’s intro and the inclusion of John Mark, Gene told how John Mark would go with his dad to the Cowboys’ Saturday workouts and receive a football from the Cowboy greats. But he never took the balls home. Instead he would give them to the kids outside the practice field waiting to get a glimpse of their heroes.

Gene then recalled how in preparing John Mark to meet the legendary Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, they practiced and practiced. He told John Mark that they would go into the coach’s dressing room and Gene would say, “Coach Landry, I would like you to meet my son Johnny. Johnny, I’d like you to meet Coach Landry.” Gene then told the youngster that his response was to be, “Glad to meet you, Coach Landry.” According to Gene, “We went over it 50 times. We had it down.” When the big moment came, Gene recited his part of the introductions. Johnny’s response: “Hi, Tom.”

In early August 2008 John Mark, who also suffered from a congenital heart defect, was having a rough day. When his father said good night to him and asked if he was all right, John Mark said, “I fine.” The next morning John Mark died.

But the luncheon this day was not about the past and John Mark. It was about John Mark’s niece, Anna Kate Gunn, who at the age of 11 months was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Gene admitted that when he arrived at the hospital after receiving a call from his daughter that Anna Kate might not survive, he was not at his best. While Gene didn’t go into detail, all got the message that he was very upset.

But this initial reaction led him to his joining the war against diabetes. This stealth killer had met its comeuppance in Gene. With his low Texas-accented voice, he told of the agonizing days that his granddaughter, like Youth Ambassador Leah Nutkis, had experienced. In their youthful lives, they had suffered thousands upon thousands of finger pricks, blood tests and scares. Still they were bound and determined to maintain some kind of normalcy.

Gene then shared something that now 18-year-old Anna Kate had written. He fessed up that he hadn’t asked her permission (“It’s a whole lot easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”). According to Anna Kate, “Unfortunately, I was dealt a significant life challenge at a very young age. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes before my first birthday. I decided to take ownership of my caring at the ripe old age of four. It was then that I resolved that I would be the only one that would give me insulin shots again. I determined to do it myself. Since that time I have given myself roughly 23,000 shots, pricked my finger and tested my blood an estimated 50,000 times. I am now and at a very early age have determined to lead as normal life as possible. I believe everyone has a unique challenge. But it’s how one chooses to deal with these challenges which ultimately defines them…Each day I have the opportunity to complain and tell about the negative aspects of juvenile diabetes and how it impacts my daily life. I could, but I won’t.”

In addition to speaking before Congress, Anna Kate and her folks launched a fundraising walk in her hometown of Waco in 1999 that has raised close to $1M over the years.

In conclusion, the man, who has worked with the most physically fit athletes in the world, said he would give up his ranch and everything he had just to see a cure for diabetes.

At some point in his talk, his reputation as a football legend seemed to take a backseat to his being a fearless crusader against a disease that affects “as many as three million people in the United States” with “approximately 15,000 children and 15,000 adults” being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S.” each year.

His words were touching, so much so that even the most jaded fundraising attendee was mesmerized by his passion and compassion.

In conclusion, he read a letter that he received last December from a woman with a severely handicapped child, both mentally and physically. In it she wrote “about the joys of raising that child and the struggles of raising that child.” Then she added, “Life is not about waiting until the storm passes you by. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Gene repeated that last part, “Learning how to dance in the rain. Little Johnny and Anna Kate…they have taught me how to dance in the rain. It’s doing the best we can with what you’ve got.”

With that, he concluded his talk and received an immediate standing ovation for “dancing in the rain.”

Fund A Cure Patrons Gathered To Celebrate The Inspiration Of Clement George And His Folks

Over at Gail and Cliff Fischer’s estate, Clement George and his bride of six months Molly George seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the attention being given to them. It seems that just as he was being discharged in 2011 from the Navy, where he was awarded two Navy Achievement Medals, a Meritorious Unit commendation Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal, he wasn’t feeling quite up to snuff. It wasn’t leaving the military. It was something different. It turned out to be Type 1 diabetes and a life-changing development for him, as well as his parents Tricia and Kenn George.

Molly and Clements George and Cindy Turner

Molly and Clements George and Cindy Turner

But like anything facing the George clan, they were going to face it together like a powerhouse. Of course, Clement got his marching orders and followed his new regimen, but Tricia and Kenn weren’t just going to be grateful and say their prayers for their son. They were going to undertake a project that would provide funding to advance the research for a cure. That project turned out to be co-chairing the Fund A Cure luncheon benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Brook Hollow on Thursday, November 5.

But leave it to the Georges that all their friends were going to pitch in and help. That’s where Gail and Cliff came in. They hosted the patron party with Cassandra doing the catering. While Richard Eiseman, Paul Divis and Bob Schlegel hunkered down around the dining room table of goodies, the gals like Jeanne McDonald, Maureen Redish, Cindy Turner, Anne Reeder, Myrna Schlegel, Linda Secrest and newly named Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston chatted it up in the entry and living room.

Jeanne McDonald, Gail Fischer and Maureen Redish

Jeanne McDonald, Gail Fischer and Maureen Redish

Linda Secrest

Linda Secrest

Di Johnston

Di Johnston

Also on hand were Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board members Kim Roosevelt with husband David Roosevelt and International Board of Directors Chair John Brady, who had just flown in.

John Brady, Tricia George and Kim and David Roosevelt

John Brady, Tricia George and Kim and David Roosevelt

As for keynote speaker Gene Stallings, he was in Paris (Texas, that is) and was gonna drive down the next day for the lunch.

Fund A Cure Patrons Have An Added Perk In Their Future

Tricia and Kenn George (File photo)

Tricia and Kenn George (File photo)

While husband Kenn George was taking his test to qualify for an EMT last night, Tricia George shared news about the upcoming Fund a Cure luncheon on Thursday, November 5, at Brook Hollow. The Georges have arranged for a patron party at Gail and Cliff Fischer’s incredible Preston Hollow estate the night before the lunch.

Cliff and Gail Fischer (File photo)

Cliff and Gail Fischer (File photo)

In addition to luncheon guest speaker/former Alabama National Championship Coach Gene Stalling and Honorary Co-Chairs Marianne and Roger Staubach, Luncheon Co-Chairs Tricia and Kenn will also have their son, Clement George, who was just recently diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes on hand.

Around the George household, they’ve dubbed the event “Fund a Cure — Turning Type 1 Diabetes Into Type None.”

If you want be part of the full-blown festivities, better get your tickets/sponsorships now to support the Dallas Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Tricia And Kenn George Assemble Friends To Sign Letters Promoting Fund A Cure Luncheon

Usually the fundraising season kicks off right after Labor Day. But with so much on the upcoming fall calendar, it got a head start on Thursday, August 27. Even the morning had its share of gearing up for what was to come.

Over at Tricia and Kenn George’s marvelous University Park home (aka Nancy and Herbert Hunt’s former homestead), the dining room was filled with folks like Susan Roberds, Michaela Dyer and Susi Brundage coming and going and it wasn’t for brunch.

Letters and pens were getting together for the Cure for the Fund lunch on Thursday, November 5, at Brook Hollow Golf Club, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Greater Dallas Chapter. Everything was so organized with crystal bowls filled with pens in all colors and mounds of letters broken down in order for signatures and personal notes.

Tricia and Kenn George

Tricia and Kenn George

When Kenn spoke out that he had been told to sign 400 letters personally, the committee members gently advised him of the protocol of letter signing — a personal note and/or signature makes a major difference proving the commitment of the person.

One had to forgive Kenn. He was still recovering from a motorcycle accident that resulted in a cast on his leg.

Susi Brundage and Cindy Turner

Susi Brundage and Cindy Turner

Speaking of physical adjustments, Cindy Turner was extolling the “reductions” in her life due to her becoming a Pilates practitioner. Forget the reduction of inches; Cindy’s spirit was in high gear and feeling so much healthier. When last seen, she was recruiting Tricia to join her in her new health program.

Back in the dining room, Barbara Stuart told how her summer had been spent updating the family home by replacing windows and an air conditioning unit that cost more than her first house.

Barbara Stuart, Susan Roberds, Michaela Dyer

Barbara Stuart, Susan Roberds and Michaela Dyer

In the living room on the piano was a collection of the George kids including son Clement George, who on recently being discharged from the Navy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 27. This development was a wakeup call for the George parents to chair the luncheon.

Marianne and Roger Staubach have signed on board to be honorary co-chairs with Roger introducing the keynote speaker: former Alabama National Championship Coach Gene Stallings. Gene’s involvement in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is due to his granddaughter, Anna Kate Gunn, being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11 months.

The letters were signed, sealed and on their way to households. If you haven’t gotten yours, don’t sit around waiting for it. Tickets are available now by emailing Deborah Newsome or ringing her up for 214.217.5782.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Fund A Cure Luncheon

According to Fund A Cure Luncheon Co-Chairs Tricia and Kenn George,

Tricia George (File photo)

Tricia George (File photo)

“Three years ago, our 27-year-old son, Clement George, was completing his four years of active service as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Bahrain on a Mine Sweeper when a physician noted his blood sugar was high. Arriving home the day before Christmas, we rushed him to our doctor who diagnosed him with Type 1 Diabetes. How could this be possible?

Marianne and Roger Staubach (File photo)

Marianne and Roger Staubach (File photo)

“We now, along with our entire family, are on this journey with Clement and his dependence on insulin. We have enthusiastically agreed to chair the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Fund A Cure Luncheon on Thursday, November 5, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. Marianne and Roger Staubach have graciously agreed to serve as honorary co-chairs, and Roger will introduce our speaker, former Alabama National Championship Coach Gene Stallings. In Gene’s family, his granddaughter suffers from Type 1.

“Funds raised at the luncheon will go to finding a cure for this devastating disease. Type 1 diabetes requires constant monitoring and insulin dependence. We have added the tagline ‘Turning Type 1 into type none’ to the name of the event to demonstrate our commitment to eradicating diabetes with the help of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.


Tricia And Kenn George To Chair Greater Dallas Chapter Of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Fund A Cure” Luncheon

There are just no two ways about it. Any form of diabetes stinks, but Type 1 takes the lead! Most folks dread a blood test at their annual physical or nearly cry like a bambino when they get their flu shots. But those suffering with Type 1 diabetes and their families live a life few could imagine.

In addition to monitoring their blood sugar and possibly requiring insulin injections, their diets have to be carefully monitored to avoid an unbalance in their sugar levels.

In the world of diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has been working to find cures or better treatments for Type 1.

Tricia George (File photo)

Tricia George (File photo)

But don’t let the word “juvenile” create the thought that only kids can be diagnosed with Type 1. Tricia and Kenn George know that all too well and too recently. Their 27-year-old son Clement, who just got married two months ago, was recently diagnosed Type 1 and has become insulin dependent.

Well, the Georges decided to join the fight. They took on the chairing of the JDRF Greater Dallas Chapter’s Fund A Cure Luncheon on Thursday, November 5, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.

The luncheon fundraiser is a relative newcomer on the scene. It was created two years ago by JoAnne Roosevelt, whose grandchild was diabetic.

Last year’s luncheon was chaired by Shelle Sills, whose son is diabetic.

It was JoAnne and Shelle who “recruited” the Georges.

Marianne and Roger Staubach (File photo)

Marianne and Roger Staubach (File photo)

As for the honorary co-chairs, it will be Marianne and Roger Staubach with Roger introducing the event’s luncheon speaker, “former Alabama National Championship Coach Gene Stallings, whose granddaughter suffers from Type 1.”

For those who are rusty on their Dallas Cowboys history, Gene was a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach when Roger The Dodger was the quarterback. Want some more Stallings trivia to impress the guests at your table? Gene was born on March 2 (aka Texas Independence Day) in Paris, Texas.

For information on juvenile diabetes and opportunities to help, check JDRF Greater Dallas Chapter.

Sweethearts For Sweeney Bash Provides Funding For Diabetic Kids

The more than 100 people who crowded into De Boulle Diamond & Jewelry on Wednesday, February 11, seemed to be in a party-hearty mood. And why not: They were surrounded by an exquisite collection of fine jewelry, luxury timepieces, and other accessories and gifts. They’d shown up at the 4th Annual Sweethearts for Sweeney bash for the best of reasons: raising funds to send countless kids with Type 1 diabetes to Camp Sweeney. And they were mixing it up with a fascinating collection of old and new friends.

For example, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson—they’ve been traveling a lot this year—were chit-chatting with their old pals Piper and Mike Wyatt. While Piper showed off her Olympia Le-Tan “Frankenstein” Limited Edition clutch—you can get them on eBay or at Five & Ten in Highland Park Village, she said—Mike was recalling how he’d met one of the evening’s co-chairs, Doug Deason, at a real estate class way back in the mid-1980s.

Doug, meantime, was telling friends about the recent “op-ed” article supporting the Koch Brothers that he and his better half, Sweethearts co-chair Holly, had penned for The Dallas Morning News. Just then Michael Sills walked by, as did a beaming Denis Boulle, then Leisa Street. But wait; where were Amanda and Brint Ryan, the gala’s honorary co-chairs? Amanda was in attendance but Brint couldn’t make it, owing to a father/daughter dance at Hockaday.

With or without Brint, the party rolled on. According to Preston Walhood, senior associate program director and development director for Camp Sweeney, the residential camp was relying on this annual fundraiser to bankroll hundreds of thousands of dollars in “special scholarships” for the campers, over and above the money that’s raised from donors and foundations. It takes $3,400 to give one child aged 5 to 18 about three weeks at camp, Walhood said. And that money’s important, he added, because the camp helps these kids with diabetes prolong their lives.

While last year’s bash took in about $165,000, Walhood revealed, “$250,000 tonight would be great.” And, sure enough, a “record amount” was said to have been collected in the end.

The success was due partly to the evening’s raffle, whose tickets went for $100 apiece, or three for $250. Among the raffle items up for grabs were a Men’s Rolex Watch valued at more than $11,500, a $2,500 shopping spree at Elements, and a game suite at American Airlines Center for a Mavericks game against the Houston Rockets.

“4th Annual Sweethearts For Sweeney” Fundraiser Aims To Send More Than 185 Type 1 Diabetic Kiddos To Camp Sweeney

Diabetes is a stealth and ugly disease. Sure, it can be diagnosed, but there is no cure and to live with it means sacrifice by the individual and their family and friends. How about some examples?

  • Saw a 50-ish chap over the weekend. He looked brighter eyed and more outgoing than ever. Yes, he had been going through some developments that had resulted in his weight loss and attitude. One of those developments was being diagnosed with diabetes Type 2. With a smile, he admitted that it wasn’t as rough as Type 1, but still he was having real problems with cutting off all “sweets.”
  • It was about 40 years ago that a mother noticed that her son Jay was vomiting, thirsty and just not feeling very good. This was a time before Dr. Oz and Google cures. The mother soon learned that her adorable son, who had been born with all his fingers and toes, was going to take her on a journey through the world of diabetes. To this day, his favorite drink is Tab.
  • A fella who appears to be one of those “have-it-all types,” also has scars from years of needles. You won’t find him swimming at the pools because he’s too embarrassed by the appearance of his body including his dead toes.

    Charlsie Doan and Kelly Doan

    Charlsie Doan and Kelly Doan

  • Charlsie Doan and her family were already dealt a challenge when she was born with symbrachydachtyly, a congenital hand disorder resulting in her missing her right hand. But Charlsie didn’t let that get her down. She became an accomplished student, amazing fundraiser for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and excelled at everything she tackled. At the age of 11 she learned that she had Type 1 diabetes. That really got her dander up. At last year’s National Philanthropy Day Luncheon where she was recognized as Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, where she threw down the gauntlet saying she was going to help find a cure for diabetes.

These stories and so many more were filling the fabulous home of Amanda and Brint Ryan on Thursday, January 15. True, the Ryans and Holly and Doug Deason were gearing up to head to Austin for the inaugural festivities for incoming Gov. Greg Abbott’s swearing in, but on this occasion they were rallying the troops for the “Fourth Annual Sweethearts for Sweeney” on Wednesday, February 11, at Karen and Denis Boulle‘s deBoulle for Camp Sweeney.

The Deasons are chairing the event with Amanda and Brint serving as honorary co-chairs.

Holly Deason, Connie Sigel and Amanda Ryan

Holly Deason, Connie Sigel and Amanda Ryan

To help raise funds, they’ve arranged for four raffle items:

  • A Men’s Rolex Watch (Value: $11,650) — Men’s stainless steel and 18K YG 41MM Datejust. Ivory Marker Dial, date, 18K YG fluted bezel on stainless steel and 18K YG oyster bracelet. Courtesy of Rolex, deBoulle, Denis and Karen Boulle and David and Janet Genever-Watling.
  • Game Suite at the Friday, February 20th Mavs-Rockets game (Value: $6,700) — Corner suite #1161 at American Airlines Center. Includes 22 game tickets, six parking passes and food and beverage. Courtesy of B29 Investments LP/John Schmitz, Principle.
  • $2,500 Shopping Spree at Elements (Value: $2,500) — Third year winner of “Best of Big D” Best Women’s Boutique award. Courtesy of Elements Clothing and Connie Sigel.
  • Dinner for 10 at Abacus — Dinner for 20 with wine pairing at the Chef’s Table. Courtesy of Kent Rathbun’s Abacus Restaurant.

Raffle tickets are going for $100 per ticket or three for $250. They’re available at deBoulle’s or by contacting Billie Hood at 940.665.2011.

Perhaps your kids are absolutely healthy. Then you might not know about Camp Sweeney. It’s where kids with diabetes find the best kind of medicine — camaraderie. They share their fears, challenges and “tricks of the trade” in handling a disease that needs to be put in the “Done” file.

Ernie Fernandez, Doug Deason and Marc Sigel

Ernie Fernandez, Doug Deason and Marc Sigel

Anyone who knows about Camp Sweeney knows pediatrician Dr. Ernie Fernandez. He’s been the camp director for 30 years. As Doug described him, “He is an amazingly kind-hearted man and he is obsessed with helping to get kids with diabetes, who parents can’t afford it, to the camp.”

Brint and Doug told the dozens and dozens of guests that they wanted to top last year’s total of $175,000 and had their focus on the number $225,000. For that amount more than 185 kids with Type 1 diabetes could go to camp for a week.

Round Robin November 14: Mary Brinegar Brunch, Arboretum Accolades And National Philanthropy Day Lunch

With hardly any time to recover from the day before, Friday, November 14 was off to a rousing start with a “Brunch for Brinegar” and quickly followed by a salute by area fundraisers. Sorry to do this to you, but here we go with another Round Robin.

Brunch for Mary Brinegar

Delilah Boyd and Mary Brinegar

Delilah Boyd and Mary Brinegar

Thursday, November 13, Mary Brinegar accepted SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In a far off table in the tent, Delilah Boyd was cold. All she could think of was the next morning. She was hostessing a brunch for Mary and their Theta sorority sisters who had been at SMU when Mary was a student.

Having tented her back patio complete with rugs on the ground, there was no way Delilah was going to let the Polar Vortex spoil Mary’s morning.

Brunch in a toasty tent

Brunch in a toasty tent

With heaters that would have well done the fattest filet, Delilah and The Catering Company’s Greg Rankin made the beautifully draped tent splendiferous with stemware, loads of pastries, fruits and orange juice, both G- and R-rated.

Delilah, who eventually was Theta president, recalled being initiated with Laura Bush, who joined the sorority in her sophomore year.

Upon arrival Mary seemed a bit take back by all the hoop-la. And that was before she was shown the tent.

In the crowd were Cynthia Woodall, Janet Schoeller Knight, Linda Dodson and Clare Adams Kittle.

Arboretum Kudos

Speaking of Dallas Arboretum President Mary Brinegar, she wasn’t the only one finding a place for a new award. Other Arboretum accolades on this day included:

  • The Dallas Regional Chamber presented the Arboretum with the Blueprint Award in the Community Catalyst category for its economic impact to the region.
  • Dallas Arboretum Chair of the Board Brian Shivers had received the Obelisk Award the day before and
  • 12 Days of Christmas

    12 Days of Christmas

    Dallas Arboretum Board Member Tom McCasland was inducted into the 2014 Oklahoma Hall of Fame for his “contributions to the state.” Tom and his wife Phyllis “had the idea of The 12 Days of Christmas” for the holiday season.

National Philanthropy Day



As early birds arrived at the Hyatt Regency for the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, Hyatt staffers were pulling out propane tanks from vans for the driveway patio heaters. There was definitely a chill in the air. Inside it was a different story. The moment folks entered the sliding doors, they were hit with a nice kiss of warm air for the luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professional Dallas Chapter.

Margot Perot and Katherine and Eric Reeves

Margot Perot and Katherine and Eric Reeves

Christina Moore-Salinas and Chris Kleinert

Christina Moore-Salinas and Chris Kleinert

While at times the reception outside the Landmark Ballroom took on the look of Hunt and Perot family reunions, there was good reason. Katherine Perot Reeves and Chris Kleinert were both on the list to be honored. The pre-lunch reception was sponsored by the North Texas Food Bank, so NTFB’s Jan Pruitt joined National Philanthropy Day Luncheon Chair Christina Moore-Salinas in welcoming the crowd that included Kern Wildenthal, April Box Chamberlain, David Krause, Fred Shapiro and Deborah Montonen, who just revealed that she was leaving her LaunchAbility post for a position at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

The following honorees were all present, introduced and photographed to the nth degree:



  • Outstanding Philanthropist (sponsored by Clarkson Davis) — Katherine Perot Reeves nominated by North Texas Food Bank/Colleen Brinkmann
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser (sponsored by Dini Spheris) — Chris Kleinert nominated by Methodist Health System Foundation
  • Outstanding Foundation (sponsored by Children’s Medical Center) — Children’s Cancer Fund nominated by Children’s Medical Center Foundation
  • Outstanding Corporation — BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas nominated by Caring for Children Foundation of Texas
  • Outstanding Fundraising Executive — Milton Key nominated by John Roppolo
  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (sponsored by Hunt Consolidated Inc.) — Charlsie Doan nominated by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
 Jan Pruitt and Bette Perot

Jan Pruitt and Bette Perot

While the honorees were getting their share of attention, it seemed like Bette Perot was the one many folks wanted to chat and have a photo taken with. After a request for a photo with Bette was made by her niece, Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Bette told the photographer, “I’m charging $15 a picture.”

On the side, Jan Pruitt revealed that it was because of Bette that her niece Katherine Perot Reeves joined the NTFB board, which is preparing to launch a major capital campaign.

Right on schedule, the doors to the ballroom opened at 11:30, but seating took a bit of doing. This group of fundraisers and friends, like Diane Brierley, Steve Ivy and Roslyn Dawson, loves to get together, hug, laugh and “What have you been up to?” Susan Wells Jenevein, who left the Genesis Women’s Shelter in September, is now working with Gunnar Rawlings to open Cristo Rey College Preparatory School in 2015.

While some might think these folks are competitors for the same honeypot, they’ve actually a team after the same basic goal — to help those in need. That’s what philanthropy is all about and today was the day to celebrate.

At 12:13, Christina welcome the guests and introduced Daniel Prescott, who before giving the invocation reminded the crowd that it was 29 years ago that the late President Ronald Reagan declared November 15 to National Philanthropy Day. He then asked everyone to stand and hold hands for the invocation. One or two of the tables opted out on the handholding part of the request. Guess they were abiding by the suggestion that the flu can be spread unknowingly by handshakes, handholding, handy anything.

Next up was Greater Dallas Chapter AFP President Diana Marquis, who thanked KERA for producing the honorees’ acceptance speeches. This process seems to streamline the program along…if it’s working. More about that in a couple of paragraphs.

At 12:24 lunch (bib lettuce, arugula, spinach, fennel shavings, radicchio and dried fruit with lavender honey cabernet vinaigrette; pepita crusted children breast with Dr Pepper blueberry sauce over green chili masa pudding and broccolini flowers and artisan breads and butter; and edelweiss raspberry tranche cake with bitter chocolate sauce) was served.

Keeping to the schedule, emcee Scott Murray proved why it’s wise to have a professional on stage. At 12:47 Scott was at the podium. Within the first couple of sentence, he did a shout out at the audio coordinator that there seemed to a ringing in the sound system. It quickly improved.

The first presentation was made to Katherine Perot Reeves, who had helped provide $2M for NTFB. Her video had just begun and the video stopped mid-sentence. The screen just plain went black.

Scott filled in the gap by saying, “I guess it’s going to be one of those days.” The video never returned, so the show went on with Katherine all in white accepting her award.

Then Scott introduced the video on Chris. It almost seemed like everyone held their breath. No video appeared. Scott once again filled the silence by saying, “My mother taught me the best word in this time is ‘patience.’”

The patience paid off with Chris’ video coming on much to the relief of organizers. The rest of the videos behaved themselves and appeared flawlessly.

Scott Murray and Charlsie Doan

Scott Murray and Charlsie Doan

Despite the gracious remarks by the adult honorees, the showstopper was 13-year-old Hockadaisie Charlsie Doan, who had been born with symbrachydachtyly, a congenital hand disorder resulting in her missing her right hand. It was through her being treated by Scottish Rite’s prosthetics department that she and her family became involved with the world-renowned center. But Charlsie’s involvement extended beyond being a patient. She has raised over $167,000 for patient care. When Scottish Rite approached the Crystal Charity Ball committee for a grant in 2013, Charlsie played “the violin to demonstrate how a custom prosthetic device allowed her to pursue her musical ambitions. Her participation as key to the success of the hospital presentation, resulting in a Crystal Charity Ball commitment of $500,000.” At the age of 11, Charlsie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she took up that cause with the same diligence and fervor.

Just before closing the luncheon at 1:32, Christina returned to the stage and announced that the organization was going to honor Scott with an honorarium for the Scott Murray Foundation.

After all, that’s how fundraisers say, “Thank you!”